The other week (3/11/15) I was invited by Juniper Networks to their Sunnyvale, CA HQ location to particiapte in their 2015 Innovation Showcase. I have participated in Tech Field Day events in the past so I had an understanding of what to expect but what Juniper did blew me away – it turned out that this was the launch event for their new QFX10000 series switches, the Converged Supercore Architecture based on the PTX, and Express Path for their SRX5000, and ultimately their Q5 ASIC chip.
The QFX10000 is Juniper Networks latest addition to Data Center networking and it comes with Juniper Networks latest purpose-built ASIC -the Q5. The Q5 chip enables unprecedented performance, port density, and scale as can be seen in the QFX 10000. What is also very interesting is that the Q5 chip uses Memory Cube technology, something that is not found in merchant silicon. The QFX10000 is a high density spine switch optimized for the Data Center (or as many call it, “the cloud.”) How high density? If you look at the image above you will see an image of the QFX100002–72Q switch. Those are 72 – 40 GbE ports in that 2U switch! That equates to 288 – 10 GbE ports! Not enough bandwidth for you? Well, you can also order these boxes with 24 – 100 GbE QSFP28 interfaces instead! That is some serious bandwidth options right there! Still not enough for you? You can get these switches in a chassis design – 8–slot and 16–slot chassis options are available. The 8–slot chassis will support up to 1152 – 10GbE ports and the 16–slot will support up to 2304 – 10GbE ports! You can find out more about the QFX 10000 here – JUNIPER QFX10000. For more information on the Memory Cube / 3-D Memory technology, there is an great post by Chang-Hong Wu on the Juniper forums – 3-D Memory.
Here is a quick YouTube video on the QFX10000:
Juniper also announced Junos Fusion for the Data Center as a flexible, open architecture that shares the building blocks of QFabric. Junos Fusion is a network device visualization framework that lives within the Junos OS on the QFX10000, QFX5100, and EX4300. It will provide a “fused” cluster of devices (similar Nexus/FEX in Cisco terms) in a single logical managed device. It will also allow the leafs to maintain some of their brains, thus potentially allowing local switching.
You can find a data sheet for Junos Fusion here – LINK.
PTX 3000/5000 and the Converged Supercore
Service Provider networks have been changing over the past few years as more and more customer are migrating away from traditional TDM type services and moving to an IP based transit (see link). The PTX is positioned to lead this charge with its density and small size (the PTX 3000 is 300 mm deep – that is about 10.5” for us Americans!). These routers are also NFX ready as well as SDN Enabled via the Juniper Networks Northstar Controller. I wont pretend I know much about these boxes as they are designed and targeted for a very specific task in a network. You can see more about them here: LINK
They also announced Express Path for their Juniper SRX5000 data center firewall. With this addition, the SRX5000 is now capable of 1 Tbps throughput and 80% reduction in latency. This software enables the SRX to identify certain types of traffic to be fast-pathed in the latest I/O cards (IOCII) hardware. You can learn more about Express Path at the following link – LINK.
Cloud Analytics Engine
A common theme throughout the event was Cloud Analytics. Juniper is making a huge push into the Analytics of the network and making this part of their solution. Having a data correlation engine as part of your solution is way to be able to see into your network that may not have been easily possible before. Normally to do something like this we need many tools and utilities, having some of these features as part of a holistic solution is a great, and welcomed, idea.
Is all this Double-Rainbows?
What does all this mean to us? Well I think that this means Juniper has realized that Q-Fabric is not going to take over the Data Center, even though the underlying technology that makes Q-Fabric work kind of has (EVPN). Juniper has started to realize that to scale out to a large/huge data center, the leaf-spine approach is what customer are looking for. Juniper also realizes that in order to have a competitive advantage in the marketplace, Merchant Silicon is not going to bring that on. Custom Silicon (Q5) is something they can design their hardware and their Junos code to take advantage of. What about SDN? Well, Junos has been a friend of that for years – just look at John Herbert over at MovingPackets.net and his Junos XML, PyEZ, YAML, etc. MovingPackets.net
Juniper Networks 2015 Innovation Showcase Disclaimer
Juniper Networks invited me out to their location in Sunnyvale, CA for this event. Juniper Networks covered my hotel, airfare, and food while I was there. They have not asked, nor have they required, any consideration in the writing of this post. The information contained in this post are mine and mine alone.